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Studio portrait photograph of Tim Jarvis

Environmental scientist and adventurer
South Australia | 2024 Australian of the Year

Tim Jarvis AM transformed his childhood love of the outdoors into a career as an environmental scientist focused on sustainability. He also leads expeditions to some of the world’s most remote places to start conversations about climate change and biodiversity loss.

Focused on practical solutions, Tim has founded and supports a range of conservation initiatives. The Forktree Project is regenerating degraded farmland on the Fleurieu Peninsula, South Australia, and 25zero is documenting glaciers to highlight the urgent need for climate action.

When you’re faced with such an overwhelming challenge, just doing something is the best course of action … the key thing is do something. And there are many things one can do as an individual. You can eat less meat, you can walk to work, you can cycle, you can put solar panels on your roof ...

Shackleton deserves the final word. His goal was to save all his men from Antarctica. Our goal is to save Antarctica from man.


In 2013 Tim recreated one of the greatest survival journeys of all time, Sir Ernest Shackleton’s 1915 crossing of the Southern Ocean. Tim and five companions sailed 1,500 kilometres from Elephant Island to South Georgia Island, Antarctica, before crossing the island’s mountains on foot. They used the same food, clothing and technology that would have been used by Shackleton almost 100 years earlier. This compass was Tim’s sole source of guidance through the unforgiving Antarctic.

Photo of a compass

Compass from Tim Jarvis AM

This exhibition was developed by the National Museum of Australia in collaboration with the National Australia Day Council. Portrait images supplied by the National Australia Day Council.

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